Magellan tetraploid red clover has beenadded to this years Recommended List of Grass and Clovers. It significantlyoutperforms other red clovers, particularly in terms of yield, ground cover andprotein content.
The variety has been bred by LS PlantBreeding and is marketed in the UK by DLF Trifolium, and will be included inmixtures from 2015.
Red clover is grown for high protein silageproduction, either as a monoculture, or more usually sown with companionItalian, hybrid or perennial ryegrasses. As a legume it can fix between200300kg N/ha per year, reducing the nitrogen requirement.
The aim when breeding new red clovers is toincrease yield and lifespan to make it more persistent, explains Tim Kerridge,agricultural sales director for DLF-Trifolium.
Magellan far out-yields every other varietyon the list for total yield in the second harvest year, producing an extra 2.5tof dry matter over the varieties used as controls. Its animal productionpotential is phenomenal, particularly considering its protein content at firstcut is a high 18%.
It also has a very good ground cover scorewhich it maintains into the second year. Farmers are keen to extend the life oftheir legume cutting leys to three or four years or more, so Magellan is justthe sort of clover they are looking for.
Also recommended this year is a newintermediate diploid perennial ryegrass called Nifty, bred by DLF-Trifolium.
Heading on the 24 May, Nifty is one of thehighest yielding varieties in this category and has very good mid-seasontraits. It excels under grazing management and offers animals high qualitydigestible grass throughout the grass-growing season. It covers the ground welland is particularly useful in long-term grazing leys.